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Aid Climbers Are Lazy Pigs, Not Climbers!
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stroker


Nov 28, 2005, 9:29 PM
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Aid Climbers Are Lazy Pigs, Not Climbers!
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I am joking my friends! I titled this in a way that would attract opinions. What I really want to know...is what you think of my own Aid Rating System.

I am aware of the many discrepancies in aid rating. I tried to get up Jim Beyers route on River Tower(Savage Master A4) and I did not leave the ground. This led me to believe/understand that a new rating system was due. I proposed this system a few year ago, yet I feel I must post it again.
Here Goes!

IN-A-ROW-AID-RATING

Defintion: Simply count the amount of questionable pieces in a row.
A4= four questionable pieces in a row
A17= seventeen questionable pieces in a row

How do you define "questionable?"

When the pitch is cleaned the cleaner defines this by the amount of force or effort it takes to remove a particular piece of gear. In other words, if it comes out easy, it bad and should contribute to the count on the rating.

To better describe the rating, I purpose an L rating following the aid rating.
The L is for Ledge/slab/dihedral/something to hit. An example would be: A16L= sixteen pieces of junk above a ledge that may/could leave you parents childless.
A rating of A16 (without the L) would be sixteen pieces of junk with nothing but air to greet you if you mess up.

I realize that this may be confusing to the new aid climber, but to the experienced, this would provide insight to each pitch. Of course this relies upon the honor system of rating reporting, but what doesn't
The distance between each placement is not of concern, its the quality of each placement that counts.

What do you think?


-tda


stroker


Nov 28, 2005, 9:39 PM
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I really titled this post to attract aid climbers to respond. The title is nothing in which I believe or support. I am a aid climber. I knew that this title would attract the masses, and the masses are which I need to answer my questions.

Thank you,

TDA


maculated


Nov 28, 2005, 9:47 PM
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Do you aid climb very much? Seems kind of silly. Pieces vary by climbs and climbers.


curt


Nov 28, 2005, 9:49 PM
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In reply to:
...I am a aid climber. I knew that this title would attract the masses, and the masses are which I need to answer my questions.

Thank you,

TDA

It's "an aid climber." You're not getting any replies because of your terrible abuse of the English language. :D

Curt


stroker


Nov 28, 2005, 9:57 PM
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I am an aid climber. I've hung in the ets for tons of hours. I hope it doesn't seem too hard to figure out if a piece is junk or not. IE: a half in beak is not that good. A #2 head or smaller automatically qualifies as not that good. Hooks, welcome to "not that good" I would dare say that an old rivet/stud may qualify as "not good" If you wouldn't haul/belay off it, its not that good.

Welcome my friend Curt,

I need you to PM me so I can name this alpine variation after you. I am a man of my word.

I sincerely thank you for responding.

-peace

-tda


bsmoot


Nov 28, 2005, 10:02 PM
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Interesting Idea...with the crowded categories of A1,A2 & A3 it would be nice to see aid ratings better defined.


stroker


Nov 28, 2005, 10:05 PM
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Right On!!!
Mr. Smoot himself on this post!
I'm finally going to do the NE face of Storm Mtn. this Spring. I write my a** about it when I send.
Describe yourself better concerning the aid rating process.

I thank you for posting

-tda


porcelainsunset


Nov 28, 2005, 10:22 PM
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In reply to:
The distance between each placement is not of concern, its the quality of each placement that counts.
-tda

First of all, i think that the distance between each piece is a concern. Routes typically earn a harder aid rate if the nature of the climb requires you to step higher in your Aiders, making it more difficult to place gear, and also resulting in fewer placements. Also, those who are just getting into aid tend to place more gear, which would raise the grade.

Your new system of grading also rates only one section of the climb, and dose not take in to account the length of the route, or multiple sections of risk. I know that the current rating system only takes into account the risk of fall or injury, but its simple and still gets the point across. If you are going to try and re-invent the wheel, you might as well try and make it better while you're at it, rather than making it weaker and more complicated.


In reply to:
When the pitch is cleaned the cleaner defines this by the amount of force or effort it takes to remove a particular piece of gear. In other words, if it comes out easy, it bad and should contribute to the count on the rating.

I don't know about you, but I think its better when a piece goes in easy and comes out easy. Some of my most bomber pro placements come out without a problem. In my experience I've found that beginners are more likely to make shitty placements, which are often harder to get out, where as more experience climbers tend to have safer placements, that remove more easily. A good example is an alien turning into a passive placement when the lobes invert because it was placed in a crack to wide, often making it a pretty much worthless placement, but hard as hell to remove. (Okay, so I mean a little offense at this next statement, but it's all in play) Maybe you should learn how to place gear before you start to try A4?


stevem


Nov 29, 2005, 4:46 AM
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Have a look at the UK system for grading trad climbs, with a descriptive grade AND a technical grade.

Current aid ratings give the reader a descriptive grade. Yosemite decimal ratings give a technical grade (I think).

I'd say you need both to get a balanced picture of what you're in for. But then I'm a brit 8^)


skinner


Nov 29, 2005, 6:08 AM
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Aid Climbers Are Lazy Pigs, Not Climbers!

[brown]I agree.. where do I sign up?[/brown] :P


Partner j_ung


Nov 29, 2005, 7:04 AM
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In reply to:
IN-A-ROW-AID-RATING

Defintion: Simply count the amount of questionable pieces in a row.
A4= four questionable pieces in a row
A17= seventeen questionable pieces in a row

IMO, ratings, be they aid or free, are better if they don't try to provide too much information.

For one, interpretation and personal responsibility should be encouraged in climbing. I don't often agree that new gear, innovations, etc contribute to the "dumbing down" of climbing, but I think filling a rating with as much info as possible might qualify.

Two, your idea may be inherently flawed. Wouldn't the number of questionable pieces in a row -- the very basis of your system -- depend somewhat on the height of the leader? It might not matter so much for short sections of climbing, but the longer the pitch, the more substantial the potential difference will be.

Three, the ease of cleaning a piece does not always relate directly to how bomber it is or isn't. I would argue that, unless we're talking about hammered pieces, there is actually very little correlation.

Yay for free thought and thanks for posting, but I'm a-gonna stick with what we have. :)


atg200


Nov 29, 2005, 7:36 AM
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oh man, stroker is the real deal, so please give up on questioning his aid resume. that is a tired and sad tactic.

clean pieces are nearly always easy to clean, but easy clean routes don't really have anything to do with what stroker is talking about - those things would all be A2 or A3 at worst in his "in a row" system. likewise ratings that could be influenced by a climber's skill or if you have to top step - if these are considerations for you, you are not getting on hard aid. supercrack doesn't get a 5.12 rating if you don't know how to jam, aid is no different. if that short spanish chick can get up the reticent, so can you if you learn to climb as well as she does.

the system is clearly for nailing - even a hard clean pitch like the cruxes on sundevil chimney on the titan are not too bad if you slam in a few pins. he is talking about things like a lot of beaks in a row held in by the grace of god that the cleaner pops out with his fingers, and where the only way to mitigate the danger is to slam in a bolt.

the system has nothing to do with difficulty, and everything to do with evaluating consequences. its a neat idea, but it'll never work because its too complicated. i can't even remember everything i used on a pitch, much less how many placements were bad.

i'll stick with my usual system of looking at the rack recommendation, the first ascentionist, and the date of the FA for trying to figure out if i will die or not.


Partner cracklover


Nov 29, 2005, 8:33 AM
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I like it. Not that I'm likely to ever have to use it, since I suspect I'll may top out at easy A3 someday, if that.

In reply to:
i can't even remember everything i used on a pitch, much less how many placements were bad.

i'll stick with my usual system of looking at the rack recommendation, the first ascentionist, and the date of the FA for trying to figure out if i will die or not.

But if the FA can remember what pieces he or she placed on a pitch, surely he can remember the crux of that pitch, where he was on the fourth piece of junk and finally got in a good nut or solid pin.

The trouble is with the letter. Don't call it A4, since that conflicts with the standard rating system, call it J4 (four pieces of Junk). If people like it, it'll catch on. So, for example, I could say that the hardest I've aided was A2 J1.

And, because this business of how hard it is to clean is confusing people, how about just saying that if a piece wouldn't hold a fall, it's junk.

GO


stevem


Nov 29, 2005, 8:39 AM
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I like the J rating 8^) What does a cam hook count as? It's bomber when it's in, but worthless when you move up and leave nothing but air below you...


addiroids


Nov 29, 2005, 8:51 AM
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Sorry CRACKLOVER, the J Rating System is for Jailbait:

J1 - she's 17 and no influential dad, you're 23 and in Law School

J2 - she's 16 her dad is a school principal, you're 29 and a banker

J3 - she's 15 her dad is a Mayor, you're 33 and a cook from Mexico

.
.
.
all the way to
.
.
.
J5 - she's 12, her dad is a CEO of a law firm in SF, and you're a 38 year old insurance salesman from Canada who's spending your vacation on El Cap (right side).

As far as aids goes, how about the DEATH Scale (I think Jake might like this one):

Dminus A0-A3

D A3+ - A4+

Dplus A5 - A6

Because not only are aids climbers lazy, but we all have a death wish as well.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


dingus


Nov 29, 2005, 8:55 AM
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In reply to:
Sorry CRACKLOVER, the J Rating System is for Jailbait:

J1 - she's 17 and no influential dad, you're 23 and in Law School

J2 - she's 16 her dad is a school principal, you're 29 and a banker

J3 - she's 15 her dad is a Mayor, you're 33 and a cook from Mexico

.
.
.
all the way to
.
.
.
J5 - she's 12, her dad is a CEO of a law firm in SF, and you're a 38 year old insurance salesman from Canada who's spending your vacation on El Cap (right side).

Yo, roid!

What's that make a jt512 then?

DMT


okieterry


Nov 29, 2005, 9:02 AM
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Hmmm, I like the A and J rating combined. It could help you tell the difference between a one or two bad placement over a bad fall (spike below) or a long row of questionable placements.

Course I'm the one that wants to call trad climbs T1 through T14 and sport climbs S1 through S15. I say lose the 5!

Hey! my initials are tda also!!!


Partner tim


Nov 29, 2005, 9:22 AM
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hey stroker/Troy,

why you no use your rating system for the Cowboy Hat?

sounds PDW from the description ;-)


Partner brent_e


Nov 29, 2005, 9:41 AM
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In reply to:
hey stroker/Troy,

why you no use your rating system for the Cowboy Hat?

sounds PDW from the description ;-)


PDW??? not pimp daddy welfare???? what does that mean?

Don't decent topos usually describe what to expect per pitch thus giving similar info? I have NEVER climbed aid, but no one has brought this point up.


Brent


maculated


Nov 29, 2005, 9:45 AM
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Yes. I am lame. I thought he was a troll. It was late at night. Got it, Andrew.


Partner cracklover


Nov 29, 2005, 11:51 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
hey stroker/Troy,

why you no use your rating system for the Cowboy Hat?

sounds PDW from the description ;-)


PDW??? not pimp daddy welfare???? what does that mean?

Don't decent topos usually describe what to expect per pitch thus giving similar info? I have NEVER climbed aid, but no one has brought this point up.


Brent

I'm an aid noob, but I think I know that one. Pretty Darn Western.

Now ask me what *that* means! :lol:

Okay, okay... it means fucking scary. As in - the standard line up that crumbling pile of mud over there is supposed to be PDW. It's had one repeat, and the second ascent party gave up climbing for good afterwards!

GO


jaybird2


Nov 29, 2005, 12:12 PM
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The idea is good... but where do we draw the line? In a few decades are we gonna have ratings like

5.13d or
P1 - I 5.9 A3 J3L ED
P2 - II 5.6+ A4- J13D D
p3 - I 5.3- C1- J13.5L SF

Again, the more beta you can get about a route, the better... right? Or is it just easier that way. I don't want to sabotage this post (not that my opinions are that provoking anyway), but I have started to worry about my dependency on guidebooks and beta. Sure there are new goals these days, such a how many 12 pitch A2s can one bust out in 4 hours 15 minutes 12 seconds and 34 pico-seconds. Back in the day it took those guys up to weeks or months to put of some of the great routes that we travel to and climb in a weekend. It is a priviledge to have such a network of knowledge and gear these days that allow gumbies like myself to experience routes that I wouldn't be able to touch if it weren't for such crutches. And that is kinda why I like aid climbing. It seems a little older and more do-it-yourself.

Sorry to get off track. I guess if you want to improve the rating system, you have to start where it leaves off. It basically indicates a level of danger, which addiroids paraphrased with his DEATH ratings. :lol: Very optimistic concisening (yes I just made that word up). One thing that is missing, is the duration of commitment, the J rating. I think that the height of the climber (I am 5'5") does matter, but it may not be that big a deal and could be combatted with grouping the numbers. Such as 1-2 mank pieces being J1. 3-6 pieces being J2, etc. Again, it is gonna be subjective to the climbers placement abilities and what they carry. I just got off soloing the Rainbow Wall and ball-nuts (should be called uncleanables) where the shit on one pitch. With 'em, C1. Without them, might'a been harder. As j_ung mentioned, this may just complicate stuff too much and be way too personal. If you are gonna do it though, you gotta group it to help dilute those person dependent aspects of aid climbing. Hell, I roll russian-style and if I don't top-step a piece I feel like a pussy. Usually I hook into the biner that is on the piece. I can climb in those things like a 6 footer with ladders.

Damn, I just rambled. Sorry. :oops:


jv


Nov 29, 2005, 12:50 PM
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It's not a stupid idea. I guess the right word would be futile.

The real problem I see is that ratings change quickly with repeat ascents as the rock degrades, so almost every party is going to see it a littel differently; it's too subjective anyway; aid climbers seem content to simply say they led a certain pitch with a fearsome reputation; and more complex ratings for aid have, in the past, not fared well. Any others I left out?


Partner brent_e


Nov 29, 2005, 4:54 PM
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In reply to:
I'm an aid noob, but I think I know that one. Pretty Darn Western.

Now ask me what *that* means! :lol:

Okay, okay... it means f---ing scary. As in - the standard line up that crumbling pile of mud over there is supposed to be PDW. It's had one repeat, and the second ascent party gave up climbing for good afterwards!

GO

ahhh, i see. LOL They gave up for GOOD??? who the heck was that?!?!

thanks for the info

Brent


stroker


Nov 29, 2005, 6:20 PM
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TIM, The Cowboy Hat is a non-traditional route in which employs rope tricks. I truly had no idea what to rate it, or how to rate it.

I thank you all for contributing, I realize that this system will not work. I'll think about it for another year or two and possibly come up with something more accurate. Will we ever have accurate or nearly accurate rating? What inspired me to write about this, was when I was on G-Money in Zion. A2+???!!! What a sandbag.

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